Seaman insists he's 'puzzled' over Arteta's decision to drop Ramsdale

EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal legend David Seaman says he’s ‘puzzled’ by Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop Aaron Ramsdale – and questions ‘strange’ signing of David Raya

  • Mikel Arteta has been rotating his keepers throughout this season’s early games
  • David Seaman questioned the decision during an exclusive chat with Mail Sport
  • Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here 

Arsenal legend David Seaman has admitted he is ‘puzzled’ by Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop Aaron Ramsdale and install David Raya as his new No 1.

Arteta has been criticised in some circles for rotating his goalkeepers, which has perplexed fans, pundits, commentators and now one of the greatest players to ever hold the position at the Gunners.

On Sunday, summer signing David Raya retained his place in goal for Arsenal during their 2-2 draw with rivals Tottenham in the north London derby. 

Meanwhile last season’s No.1, Aaron Ramsdale, watched from the sidelines and cheered on his team-mate as the Spaniard pulled off some terrific stops.

It was only Raya’s third appearance for Arsenal after completing a loan move from Brentford in summer – which the club have the option to make permanent – as Arteta continues to rotate his goalkeepers.

Arsenal legend David Seaman has called into question some of Arsenal’s recent decisions

One of which included the choice to drop Aaron Ramsdale (R) for new signing David Raya (L)

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It’s a strategy that has been met with some concern from the Gunners fanbase, who have queried as to why Ramsdale lost his starting place in the squad. 

And it’s not just supporters who are holding this stance, with Seaman revealing that he’s been ‘puzzled’ by the manager’s decisions. 

Speaking exclusively to Mail Sport, the former goalkeeper said: ‘What he’s doing is what he spoke about. He’s making sure they all get game time. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. 

‘Back in my day, I don’t know whether I would’ve liked that as much. I’m sure [Peter] Schmeichel wouldn’t have liked it either! 

‘But it was different back then, that was 20 years ago. The game’s changed and Mikel’s trying something new.

‘Will it work out? I don’t know if I’m honest. I’m still puzzled as to why Aaron was left on the bench.’

Former Sheffield United keeper Ramsdale started the season as Arteta’s first-choice but, upon returning from international duty this month, has seen his spot get taken.

‘It was a strange summer,’ Seaman continued. ‘Aaron did brilliantly last season. He was voted the goalkeeper in the Player’s Team of the Season – that’s how good he was! 

‘Then to come into this season and play five or six games… it must be quite a shock to him. But he’s got to handle that. And Mikel’s got to handle that and make sure he keeps Aaron happy. 

‘It’s a situation that they’ve brought upon themselves because they brought another really experienced goalkeeper in.’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been adamant that he wants to rotate his goalkeeping options

Raya has made two appearances since joining the Gunners on loan from Brentford in the summer

Despite the ongoing debates, Ramsdale’s positive attitude has not wavered and that was exemplified during the recent north London derby. 

After a brilliant stop from Raya denied Tottenham’s Brennan Johnson from levelling the score in the first-half, the cameras cut to show Ramsdale’s reaction from the bench, with the former Sheffield United star seen clapping with his hands aloft and smiling. 

It was an action that was later mocked by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher but one that Seaman insists gave great ‘insight’ into Ramsdale’s mindset. 

‘I think you saw a great insight as to what Aaron’s like when David made his save. The way that Aaron was applauding him. He knows what goalkeeping is all about,’ Seaman said.

‘But at the moment, I would imagine that he’s a little bit confused – as I am – in this situation.’

Ramsdale was seen clapping with his hands aloft after a save from team-mate David Raya

The 60-year-old admitted that he would not take kindly to being dropped like Ramsdale

Elsewhere on Sky’s analysis, Gary Neville claimed that Arsenal’s ‘overcelebrating’ was a factor in them conceding so shortly afterwards – however Seaman suggests that the former Man United defender was wrong in his critique. 

‘No, it’s just how the game goes,’ Seaman said. ‘It’s not like everyone was stood in Spurs’ half when they kicked off. It’s a north London derby, you’re going to celebrate! 

‘If you don’t celebrate a NLD goal then what is going on? I don’t agree with Gary there but I didn’t agree with Gary when he said it wasn’t handball. 

‘I thought it was a handball all day long. If he doesn’t handball it, then the ball goes in. It was handball.’

Neville, along with ex-Spurs star Jermaine Jenas and a plethora of fans online, said that the decision to award a penalty for the handball on Cristian Romero was harsh.

Cristian Romero (No. 17) was judged to have handled the ball during the north London derby

On the day, Arsenal were held to a point – despite passing up a handful of chances – after a Son Heung-Min brace cancelled out a double from winger Bukayo Saka.

‘I knew it was [going to be] a tight game,’ said Seaman. ‘I think, overall, a draw was a fair result. The first 30 minutes, Arsenal were so dominant. But if you don’t take your chances, you’re always giving the opponents a chance to get into the game. 

‘We went 1-0 and then Jesus missed a great chance to get back into it. It was a good game to watch but I think Arsenal will feel a little bit disappointed because they went ahead twice and they let them back into it’.

Seaman was speaking as part of a new British Heart Foundation campaign shining a spotlight on hidden heart conditions and their impact on the nation every day.

The 60-year-old, who has a heart condition of his own, has encouraged other to have regular check-ups after stats revealed that at least 7.6 million people in the UK are living with heart or circulatory disease.

As part of the campaign, Seaman and hundreds of fans came together to create a giant heart in a crowded stand at Crystal Palace F.C. in London, to represent the number of lives lost in the UK to coronary heart disease each day. 

Seaman pictured as part of a new campaign launched by the British Heart Foundation in a bid to raise awareness on hidden heart conditions

‘This is happening everyday,’ Seaman said. ‘That’s what this new campaign is trying to shed a spotlight on. It’s there to raise awareness and try to get people to understand what’s going on. 

‘If you’ve got any sort of feelings, get yourself checked out. I had mine 20 years ago when I had an irregular heartbeat and I would get these palpitations and think ‘What is this?’. But, 20 years later and I’m still okay! 

‘It was just something I just needed to get sorted out. That’s the message. Everyone saw what happened with Christian Eriksen – and that’s a guy that’s super fit! 

‘It can happen to anyone but the more that we campaign, the more awareness we can bring.’

Ahead of World Heart Day this September, the British Heart Foundation and David Seaman are shining a spotlight on hidden heart conditions. To find out more or donate, visit 


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